Daimler AG (DAI) unveiled the Mercedes- Benz Citan delivery van, marking the first vehicle to result from two years of cooperation with Renault SA. (RNO)
The Citan shares technology with the Renault Kangoo and will go on sale this fall, the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker said today in a statement. Mercedes aims for the model to win a share of 4 percent to 5 percent of the European small- van segment, which totals about 700,000 vehicles a year. The van will compete with Volkswagen AG (VOW)’s Caddy and other vehicles.
“The Citan has the stuff to become a hero of the cities,” Volker Mornhinweg, head of Daimler’s Mercedes Vans division, said in a speech today in Amsterdam. “We tested its heart and kidneys just like we test every other Mercedes.”
Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance agreed in April 2010 to swap shareholdings to secure a partnership aimed at cutting costs. In addition to the van project, the manufacturers will share development of next-generation models of Daimler’s Smart and the Twingo made by Renault, based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. Nissan’s Infiniti brand may also use small-car technology from Mercedes.
The Citan adds a vehicle designed for inner-city deliveries to Mercedes’s van lineup, which includes the larger Vito and Sprinter models. The Daimler division increased sales 18 percent to 264,000 vehicles last year and is targeting more than 400,000 deliveries by 2015 as it expands outside Europe.
The new van will come in three sizes and will also be available in Turkey and Australia, Daimler said.
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